Franz Caba


Si usted sabe contar, no cuente conmigo (If you can count, don’t count on me)




Dominican Republic


91,4 x 122 cm


Acrylic on canvas

Credits: Private collection

In his work, Dominican painter Franz Caba reflects on the Caribbean—in general—and on the capital city of Santo Domingo’s identity in particular. Caba tackles themes such as the effects of insularity, precarious employment, improvised material culture, the aspirational gaze toward the United States, and the trauma of migration through the lenses of gender, race, and class. The Dominican body usually appears metaphorically represented through the landscape and the local nature of the island. In this painting, a boat flies through the air among clouds, as if trying to leap across the ocean. Hundreds of bananas shoot out of its interior, leaving a trail similar to the halo of a shooting star or a comet as it crosses the firmament. Caba thus alludes to the desire to migrate to the United States, so latent among the younger generations of Dominicans who dream of a different life far from the island. Caba wonders whether this migratory impulse responds only to situations of precariousness or whether it is also common among the more privileged sectors of the population. In that case, Caba reflects, the migrant impulse might be more of an intrinsic component of island identity.